RIGA, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The Latvian government is bracing for tough talks on EU funding after the European Commission unveiled proposals for the bloc's next multi-annual budget on Wednesday, local media reported.
Latvian Prime Minister Maris Kucinskis, Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola, Agriculture Minister Janis Duklavs and Foreign Minister Edgars Rinkevics will all have to work hard in Brussels to defend Latvia's interests in the EU's post-Brexit budget, said Inese Vaidere, a Latvian member of European Parliament.
Latvia's main concerns are about the EU Commission's plan to cut funding for agricultural and cohesion policies by roughly 5 percent.
Commenting on the budget blueprint, Latvian Prime Minister Kucinskis told reporters on Thursday that nobody finds the European Commission's proposals satisfactory at this stage but that negotiations on the EU's budget for the period 2021-2027 were just beginning.
It is already clear, however, that Latvia will have to be more insistent when seeking EU support for major projects like Rail Baltica railway line amid reduced cohesion funding, Kucinskis said, adding that Rail Baltica might become the central topic in Latvia's budget negotiations in Brussels.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday unveiled plans for the EU's next seven-year budget in which expenditure would be raised to 1.279 trillion euros (1.44 trillion U.S. dollars) or 1.1 percent of the bloc's economic output.